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Sports has belonged to Paulo Lopes’ life since he was 4 years old and it took a huge effect on his personality and behaviour.
Since early age and for over 20 years Paulo Lopes practised 6+ times per week. He participated in regional, national and international competitions acquiring some podiums in the process.
At first, Paulo started doing swimming where the butterfly was his passion and speciality. His best place was 14th place in the Portuguese national level on the 100m butterfly, long course (50 metres).
At the age of 17, Paulo Lopes stopped swimming and changed sports to track and field. A sport where Paulo had innate capabilities since young age. In a short time, he realised his physical abilities and interest for 400m event due to the combination of speed, endurance and tactics. Paulo Lopes went on to compete for almost 10 years ending with a some medals in northern Portugal and Finland competitions. Furthermore, while representing Finland in Barents championship – a competition between northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Russia and Denmark – Paulo helped Finland to achieve the top of the podium.
In his last year of running, his coach was Marko Ritola, one of the best Finnish runners and also a European level athlete in 110m hurdles. In addition, Paulo Lopes practised with all the top 800m and higher distances runners in northern Finland under Pohjolan Juoksijat organisation. Thus, one of the athletes was Janne Ukonmaanaho, one of the best 3000m steeplechase Finnish runner of all times who was also one of the organisers. As a result, these practices were good to share best practices and tips to improve their practices.
Because of Paulo’s family life, in the following years he joined other type of sports that included running with other skills. It was at this stage that Paulo realised that the physical condition and running technique of other athletes were poor. Thus, he started coaching teams in running technique and coordination. Initially, he started as Tervarit’s senior futsal team’s physical coach in season 2014 / 2015. Then in the same year he coached running technique to HauPa football B-boys. In season 2017 / 2018 Paulo coached the D-girls of Kempele KIRI baseball team, also in running technique.
Currently, Paulo is still practising sports and has an active role in the teams he belongs to. Paulo is leading a futsal team – Tervarit / Joga Bonito as the head coach and belongs to AC Oulu / Villan Pojat football team. Recently, Paulo started coaching football to his 4-year-old son and his team.